Orchestra’s Tabuteau is Oboe Soloist – Plays Mozart Quartet

October 1939


“Dido and Aeneas” Suite, Purcell-Cailliet

Quartet In F for Oboe and Strings, Mozart-Stokowski

Marcel Tabuteau, Soloist

Symphony in D Minor, Franck

Marcel Tabuteau, renowned solo oboist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, will be the first of five first-desk players to be heard as soloists with the Orchestra this season, on Friday afternoon and Saturday evening in the Academy of Music.

He will be heard in a quartet for oboe and strings by Mozart, which has been rescored for oboe and orchestra by Leopold Stokowski. Other items of the program, which will be the suite from Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas,” transcribed by Lucien Cailliet, and the Cesar Franck Symphony.

Quarter of a Century.

Mr. Tabuteau has been a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra for 25 of its 40 years, having been engaged in April of 1915. Two seasons ago he was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the French Government in recognition of his eminence as an artist.

In the questionnaire which the Philadelphia Orchestra at one time asked its men to fill out there was a space marked “Soloist Experience.” In that blank Marcel Tabuteau wrote in a bold hand, in 1915, “Do not want any!” and, on second thought, “As much as an oboe player can have!!!, ” with three exclamation points.

But an oboist, from the very nature of his instrument, is frequently a soloist. The penetrating, acid sweetness of the oboe’s tone can be marked through whatever orchestral sonorities, and composers are wont to give some of their finest themes to its expressive voice.

First Studied Violin.

The oboist was born in Compiegne, where his first musical experience was with a violin. At the age of 13 he entered the Paris Conservatory, in the classes of Georges Gillet, famous master of the oboe. Completing his studies there with the award of a first prize, he came to the United States upon the recommendation of Walter Damrosch.

He played in the old New York Symphony under that conductor for a few seasons, then at the Metropolitan Opera in Toscanini’s regime. His next engagement was the one he still holds with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Mr. Tabuteau’s artistry displays itself. He is known to his friends as a skillful amateur cook, and an invitation to one of his dinners is not to be refused.